Letter to the Editor: I Am Once Again Asking You To Vote For More Housing
Students are critical to passing four pro-housing zoning amendments.
Re: “Chamberlain: Investing in Our Values” (May 4, 2023)
I was encouraged to see Selectboard candidate and film and media studies professor Jennie Chamberlain highlight the housing crisis in Hanover in her op-ed last Thursday. For too long, the town and College alike have failed to encourage housing supply growth, and Chamberlain’s article shows she will be a valuable voice if elected to the Selectboard.
But town representatives are not the only thing on the ballot today. Last spring, I wrote to ask students to support an upzoning amendment for West Wheelock Street. It passed, in no small part thanks to our critical support. This spring, I’m back again, and there are no less than four amendments that can continue the progress — but only if students turn out.
Article 2 (Amendment 1) will make it easier for Dartmouth to renovate, replace and expand existing dormitory buildings by removing the need for the town to issue special approval. College construction has gotten caught up in town bureaucracy in the past, so this may make an appreciable difference.
Article 5 (Amendment 4) will reduce parking requirements in town. Addressing excessive parking requirements, as recommended by a Fall 2022 study commissioned by the town, is one tool that can spur more dense housing construction.
Article 4 (Amendment 3) clarifies some zoning rules on lots with more than one building on them. Article 6 (Amendment 5) clarifies that housing-over-business development, also known as mixed-use development, is allowed downtown. More clarity in the zoning code will remove unnecessary barriers to more housing construction.
Undergraduate student government and The Dartmouth both have information about the rest of the ballot available online. USG is also offering free Boloco to 500 students who take a selfie at the polls. Vote today before 7 p.m. at Hanover High, then get a burrito and bask in the knowledge that current and future students and Hanover workers will have more housing thanks, in part, to you.
Kyle Mullins is a member of the Class of 2022. He is the former editor-in-chief of The Dartmouth and currently a member of the Opinion staff. His views do not necessarily represent those of The Dartmouth.